Meaningful change can only be achieved through a combination of personal growth, systemic transformation, and collaborative efforts, as demonstrated in the sections above. Addressing issues of social justice, diversity and inclusion in higher education creates an environment to positively contribute to society and promote equity in all areas of the social sphere. This section explores a range of individual, organizational, and collective practices that aim to advance justice within and beyond academia. Through critical and actionable approaches, Practices delves into acknowledgement and reconciliation efforts, decolonization and advocacy movements working to create a more equitable and inclusive future.

Advancing justice is the work of all. The current political climate in the US recognizes the power within our institution’s policies and practices. Mindful of the purposes and politics that build the foundation for the current practices in and outside of the classroom, consider the following as you digest the readings provided here and beyond our time together.

Continuous Reflection Questions

  1. How do we, as individuals and as parts of institutions, hold colleges and universities accountable for moving beyond merely stating that Black Lives Matter or that they reside on stolen, indigenous land, and put those statements into action?
  2. How does higher education’s foundation in white supremacy and colonialism shape the ways that these institutions respond to student movements?
  3. How should institutions of higher education be influenced by political movements, and which movements should they be responsive to?

Resources about Personal, Organizational and Collaborative Practices

Land Back:

Reconciliation Efforts:

Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW):

References about Practices

  • Davis, J. L. (2013). Survival schools: The American Indian movement and community education in the Twin Cities. University of Minnesota Press.

  • Kimmerer, R. W. (2013). Braiding sweet grass: Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the teachings of plants. Milkweed Editions.

  • la paperson. (2017). A third university is possible. University of Minnesota Press.

  • McCoy, K., Tuck, E., & McKenzie, M. (Eds.). (2017). Land education: Rethinking pedagogies of place from Indigenous, postcolonial, and decolonizing perspectives. Routledge.

  • Stein, S. (2020). What can decolonial and abolitionist critiques teach the field of higher education. The Review of Higher Education, 44(3), 387-414.   

  • Wilder, C. S. (2013). Ebony and ivy: Race, slavery, and the troubled history of America’s universities. Bloomsbury Press.

  • Wildcat, M., McDonald, M., Irlbacher-Fox, S., & Coulthard, G. (2014). Learning from the land: Indigenousland based pedagogy and decolonization. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, Society, 3(3), 1-25.

  • Rocha Beardall, T. (2022). Settler simultaneity and anti-indigenous racism at land-grant universities. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, 8(1), 197–212.

  • Tuck, E. & Yang, K. W. (2012). Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 1 (1), 1-40.